What: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Who: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
When: October 9th 2018
How: A copy of this novel was provided by Simon & Schuster Australia for review.
Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.
Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.
But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?
Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.
Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.
But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?
What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?
What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?
But what if it is?
Between them, Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera have written three of my absolute all time favourite books. So when I found out that they’d be writing a book together I thought they were the dream team, and that I would fall head over heels in love with whatever they produced. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. I liked What If It’s Us, but I didn’t fall head over heels for it. And here are my three reasons why What If It’s Us is three stars:
1) I didn’t really like either of the main characters
I thought Arthur was okay, but I didn’t particularly connect with him, either. I also thought he was a little selfish and never actually gave his friends a second to talk about what their lives were like. In fact, I didn’t really learn much about his two best friends, or the two girls he was working with over the summer because he never asked them about them. There were a few random questions about romance to his co-workers, and some reminiscing about his friends but as for who they were? No idea.
Ben, on the other hand, I actively disliked. I had no time for him, to be honest. I thought he was very “woe is me” and never put any effort in, which made Arthur feel like he had to be the one doing everything and this eventually made him feel like Ben didn’t really like him at all. I just never quite believed Ben really liked Arthur because he never made an effort. He was consistently late to every one of their dates, never tried to make Arthur feel comfortable, and was just pretty much an ass.
2) Nothing really happened
If you want more than a meet-cute and the subsequent attempts at a relationship, then this is not the book for you. I knew that What If It’s Us was going to be romance-heavy, and I don’t mind that. I love romance. But I also need a plot. Which What If It’s Us did not have. The romance was the plot. And maybe that’s okay for some people, but I need a little more substance to my stories.
3) The ending
I would have been okay with the ending if not for the epilogue. To be honest, I’m pretty sure the epilogue was supposed to make readers feel better about the actual ending, but to be honest it left me far more disappointed than I would have been if it has just been left at the end of the last chapter. The epilogue didn’t add anything to the story, and it actually took away some of the specialness of Arthur and Ben.
Overall, I did enjoy What If It’s Us. I loved the friendship between Ben and Dylan, the exploration of Ben’s feelings on his Puerto Rican heritage and identity, the pop culture references, and the cute moments when they happened. It just never really hit the mark for me.
© 2018, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.
trigger warning suicide jokes, ableist language, homophobia, romantic cheating, money problems, reference to panic attacks, ADHD medicated protagonist, racially insensitive comments
suicide jokes, ableist language, homophobia, romantic cheating, money problems, reference to panic attacks, ADHD medicated protagonist, racially insensitive comments